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Heathrow and Gatwick: Latest Foreign Office travel advice for red list South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe

Travel restrictions have been imposed by the government in an attempt to slow the spread of the new super-mutant strain of coronavirus.

The new Omicron variant, which has an increased risk of reinfection, has now had a total of nine cases identified in the UK.

The strain, also called B.1.1.529, was first detected in southern Africa, six countries there were added to our red list at midday on Friday (November 26), including South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

READ MORE:Third case of Omicron Covid variant found in ‘someone who visited London’

From Sunday (November 28), travellers planning on returning to England from these destinations must quarantine in a managed hotel.

This will involve booking a quarantine hotel package , including two coronavirus tests, before coming back into the country.

Omicron was first detected in South Africa and as a result new travel restrictions have been introduced by the government

You must also take a Covid-19 test in the three days before arrival.

If you have been in a destination on the red list in the 10 days before you get to England, you will only be allowed to enter if you are a British or Irish national, or you have residence in the UK.

For those who had been in a red list country and returned to England before 4am yesterday (November 28), you and your whole household must quarantine at home for 10 days.

You must also complete a passenger locator form, giving the address where you will be quarantining and entering 9911529 in the Invoice Number field. Another will have to be completed if passengers had filled one out before the country moved onto the red list.

NHS Test and Trace services will contact these travellers directly to issue your free COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken on day two and eight.

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Other measures set out by the government in response to the new variant include mandatory face masks in shops and on public transport in England.

Pupils in Year 7 and above, as well as school staff and visitors, are also advised to wear face coverings in communal areas.

Today (November 29), an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers will be held “to discuss the developments on Omicron”, the Department for Health and Social Care said.

More information can be found on the Government’s website.

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